It’s frightening to think that in less than 24 hours, we will have left Korea, quite possibly to never return. What has been such a huge part of our lives for the last two years, will soon only be a distant, yet wonderful memory.
I will never forget the feeling of sheer, unbridled excitement as we first arrived in Korea. I didn’t sleep the first night I arrived, not because of jet-lag; but because I was so ridiculously excited. The opportunities seemed endless, the possibilities infinite, the sense of adventure was exhilerating.
Over the last two years, we have done a lot. I could barely have dreamed of being where we are now when we first considered coming to Korea. Korea has been everything we hoped for, and so much more.
After this final week at school, it is with tremendous sadness that I find myself saying goodbye to great friends, colleagues and students. I’ve said goodbyes before, but it’s different when you know you will probably never see most of the people who have played such a huge part in your life, that we have shared such wonderful, memorable and life changing experiences with – ever again. Even in the age of the internet and Facebook, saying goodbye is never easy.
It is with a heavy heart that we leave. No more will I greet my students on the bus every morning, no longer will I ring Reniers doorbell and hear “Dan, I’ll catch up dude” at 07:30 every morning, no longer will I hear my students calling each other “gay”. No longer will Rian try to force me to down “Tequila” against my will, no longer will my
students everybody, tell me how handsome I am, no longer will I be the token white guy from England and feel like a rock star. No longer will I drive past this on my commute to and from work every day…
No longer will I bow to the guys in the gym as I walk in, and spot them in silence because we can’t communicate, except for broken Konglish, no longer will I snack on ice-cream, raisins, apples and yoghurts every afternoon because I hate the school lunches. No longer will I hear “Hello Dan” bouncing around the corridors of school, as I walk through town, as I get on the bus to work every day.
Small things, but it’s the little things that count. There is a lot I’m going to miss about Hwacheon.
We lucked out by being located in possibly the most beautiful little town in all of Korea; but from the friendly locals, to our often hilarious students, to our fellow foreign teachers that we have shared so much with – it has been the experience of a lifetime. One that we will always be grateful for, will always cherish, talk about and remember with great fondness and affection.
We can’t thank the people who have played such a huge part in this chapter of our lives enough, thank you folks. You are all special.
Living and working here was not a daring adventure, contrary to how I may sometimes try to make it sound. But, it was a life changing, eye opening, sometimes crazy and surreal chapter of our lives which we will be sad to close.
We are leaving on a high, just like we did university. It’s the best way to go sometimes. In our own way, we are ready to leave now – but there’s a lot of people and things we are going to miss. And saying goodbye is not nice.
Thank you to my wonderful students and co-teachers, who have given me the most wonderful send-off and gifts
We wish you only happiness, peace and the best of luck for the future.